Once in the field, you’ll be doing a lot of walking – perhaps on rocky roads, flooded streets, even slippery slopes. You’ll need footwear that can take you to the hard places.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I wore high heels to my first mission trip. It was in the summer of 2006. I was a part of short-term mission team to the Philippines. It was the first time I went back to my native country as a “missionary.”
A missionary in heels.
Our mission team built a community library, visited our sponsored children, conducted health and arts workshops, ministered to married couples, encouraged the families engaged in livelihood projects, and played tug of war with teens.
Through it all, I tripped, slipped and stumbled. My heels weren’t the best choice for this trip.
But it wasn’t all a shame.
On our last day in the community, I learned that the young daughter of our host family had tried a few times to walk in my high-heeled shoes. Perhaps during the early mornings or late nights, when I was in bed and my shoes were neatly tucked away by the door side.
“Just a curious teenager,” I thought to myself.
It turned out, her motive was more admirable. And it caused me to reflect upon the impact of my behavior and actions – not only during such special trips, but on a daily basis.
This young girl had been watching me, and she found out that we had much in common. We were both sponsored children, hardworking students and life dreamers. But while I had graduated from college years ago, built a newspaper career in Manila, and moved to America with my family, her future was yet to take shape.
And she wondered if she, too, could rise above poverty and realize her God-given destiny.
And she can…she needs someone to pray for her and send her encouraging messages to combat the doubts in her mind.
If God could use my high-heeled shoes to encourage this girl, He can certainly use the gifts you bring to a sponsored child. Take some time to look over these pictures and find a child to inspire. And find inspiration yourself as you see a child grow to realize his or her dreams.
Rez Gopez-Sindac is an Austin-based writer and editor covering faith, church management and global development.